FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station is currently operating at high power.

The station will be taken offline tonight to begin a planned maintenance outage that is expected to take about five to six weeks to complete.

Station outages are scheduled to coincide with seasonal increases in water flows in the hydro system and with lower seasonal electricity demand to help offset the temporary loss of the station’s contribution to provincial energy needs.

The work to be completed during this outage is diverse, with jobs on equipment and systems on both the nuclear and conventional parts of the station. Planned activities include routine maintenance, repairs, system modifications, inspections and testing that can only be conducted when the station is offline.

Staff will perform more than 10,000 activities with help from about 500 contractors and tradespeople from New Brunswick and elsewhere.

Planned outages of this nature are necessary to ensure the long-term ability of the station to meet the energy needs of New Brunswickers.

The Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station is a 660 megawatt (net) nuclear generating station and a base load contributor to the New Brunswick electrical grid. It produces enough non-emitting electricity to power more than 333,000 homes per year and is a foundational piece of the company’s domestic energy supply and export sales. Point Lepreau is a major component of the generating assets that will contribute to the provincial goal of having as much as 75 per cent of the electricity used in New Brunswick coming from clean, renewable or non-emitting sources by 2020.